Monday, August 1, 2016

Fully Loaded Biscuits, Whitley, Chapman, Wahoos review & Gens preview

The Biscuits wrapped up against the Wahoos and sent them packing Saturday. In their place the Generals arrived on Sunday to begin a five game set.

The series against the Wahoos in the first five games of this ten game homestand was dramatic and exciting, just as one would expect from a potential playoff preview. The games went back and forth, setting the stage for the climactic rubber match on Saturday night.


Chase Whitley
Just the night before fans watched as Wahoos starter Sal Romano nearly no-hit the Skitz. Now for a second night the cranks were treated to a well tossed game.

With rehabing Major leaguer and former Troy Trojan Chase Whitely getting the start for Montgomery, the Biscuits and Wahoos locked horns in an old fashoned pitchers duel.

Chase Whitley
Chase Whitely was poised and overpowering in three innings, allowing just one walk and striking out five hitters. Tossing 34 pitches in just his third start after surgery, the tall starter looked great and seemed focused as well as able to enjoy getting back into competition.

Whitely, a local product who had a large contingent of friends, family and supporters in the crowd, reached 90mph and had no trouble with double-A hitters.

It isn't know if he will make another appearance for the Biscuits, but he left a great impression on those who saw him working Saturday.

Following Whitely's removal was pitcher Yonny Chirinos. Usually a starting pitcher, Chirinos came on and pitched well in his four frames but was ultimately touched for three runs in the seventh inning.

Chirinos has been excellent in the Montgomery rotation since his promotion from the Stone Crabs a few weeks ago.

Pitching in relief on this night, Yonny cruised for a few innings before becoming suddenly hittable and was pulled before too much damage was done.

Cade Gotta
The Biscuits, shut out for six innings, answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh to lock the score. The Wahoos bullpen faltered with two outs and a run already in, Cade Gotta's two RBI double knotted the score.

With the score still locked at 3-3 into the bottom of the ninth, Justin Williams opened the Biscuits half of the inning with a ringing double.
Justin Williams is fired up about his 9th inning double

When Granden Goetzman put down a sacrifice bunt, Wahoos closer De Los Santos fielded the ball and promptly threw it wildly over the third basemans head - allowing the baserunner Williams to waltz home with the gamewinning run.

Fans cheered, massive fireworks were seen and Biscuit fans went home happy.

On Sunday it was a new day and a new opponent.
The Jackson Generals tried to take the Biscuits to the woodshed, pounding out 17 runs in the contest. To their credit, the Skitz didn't just roll over and think of England, they mustered seven runs of their own.

Taylor Guerrieri
Starting pitcher Taylor G had the roughest outing of the year, perhaps of his career, as he gave up seven runs (six earned) while getting just one out in the first inning.

Knuckleballing reliever Jared Mortensen followed but fared little better, eventually getting pulled after Brady Williams was ejected for arguing.

The play Williams was tossed for was pretty bad, Pat Blair fouled a ball off his foot that rolled into fair territory. The Generals picked the ball up and threw it around the infield for a double play and got the benefit of the bad call and the fact that Blair was on the ground in pain unable to run to first.

Should have been foul, instead it was two outs. Brady had seen enough and didn't keep that fact a secret, sharing it loudly and occasionally kicking some dirt onto home plate, earning him the heave-ho.

Williams was the lucky one, not having to sit through the lengthy contest. It took more then three and a half hours for the Generals to dispatch the Biscuits in a game with over 50 baserunners combined.


Should the Biscuits advance to the playoffs by winning the second half North Division, the Generals are the team Montgomery would face in the first round. Jackson enters the series in second place, trailing Montgomery closely.

The Gens are a scrappy team low on prospects but high on experience and ability. Their P-Rat is 89, the team is led by hard hitting outfielder Tyler O'Neil. Batting .305 with 19 hrs and 78 runs batted in, O'Neil is a strong candidate for Southern League MVP.

Guys like Leon Landry and Marcus Littlewood know how to win games at this level, making the team a well rounded squad, not just a prospect farm.

Look for lots of hits and lots of men on base. Jackson leads the league in batting average, Montgomery leads the league in total bases.

Tyler O'Neil
Tyler O'Neil. Seriously, look out for him, dude is dangerous. He can be struck out, but its a risky proposition to pitch to him with runners on base.

Montgomery looks to score late. I don't have any stats on it, but this team scores late more often than a hooker at Krystals on Mobile hwy.

Look for Montgomery to spoil the Generals reputation for being hard to hit homers against. The Gens have the second fewest HRs allowed but Montgomery knows how to find the fences.

Montgomery allows the most bases on balls in the league. Look for Generals looking for free passes.

Look for Jared Mortensen and Taylor Guerrieri to pitch inside and maybe hit batters, they are two of the top three leaders in Hit-By-Pitch tossers. Sunday they each plunked a Jackson General!

Look for Ian Miller to test Biscuit catchers and try to add to his 34 stolen bases. Miller has only been caught one time this year!

Mike Marjama
Mike Marjama has headed to Port Charlotte to rehab, it isn't yet known how long he will be there.

Mike Marj is an important part of the success in Montgomery this summer, hopefully he gets healthy and returns soon.

I was told the move that activated Patrick Leonard also sent Tommy Coyle to the DL. It hasnt posted on the league website or the team site yet, but hey, that shouldn't surprise anyone.

Tommy Coyle


Jaye Chapman
One player I talked to said that he had "kinda been hustled" by Biscuits closer Jaye Chapman. Three guys were looking for a fourth for doubles in a game of ping-pong. Asked if he wanted to play, Chapman agreed saying he "had played a little bit."

It quickly became obvious that "a little bit" meant "like a boss" and Chapman walked away on the winning team.

Fans have noticed Chapman and his busy bullpen activities. From the time he comes out of the tunnel before the game until the last fan has left, Jaye Chapman seems to stay in a state of constant motion. While he does so, he talks to players, fans, umpires, grounds keepers, pretty much anyone who comes near him. He stretches against the walls and wanders all over the bullpen area, covering every inch of real estate in that zip code.

On talking to fans, he says its partly due to being from the Florida panhandle, as well as having a branch of friends and family here in Montgomery. "Every day I have like, 40 folks here to see me! They live here, so its great to see everyone" he told me.

I asked him about his pre-game routine and the habits he has in the pen. "Every move is precisely planned, an intricate warm-up regimen."

On being the last one out of the ballpark after the game, he was honestly old school about non-fraternization. "I hate going down the tunnel with the other team, no matter who has won. A guy I just struck out in a big spot, or gave up a hit to maybe lose a game, and I am supposed to just pack it in and walk beside him right after? No way, I just wait until they clear out."


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